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Eye disease treatments - macular degeneration

Category: Medicines

Type

Involuntary and voluntary

Introduction and description

Judi Dench suffered from macular degeneration

Macular degeneration, often age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), is a medical condition that affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula) because of damage to the retina.

It is a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults, afflicting 30-50 million people globally. Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life.

It occurs in "dry" and "wet" forms.

The retina is a network of visual receptors and nerves. It lies on the choroid, a network of blood vessels that supply the retina with blood.

Peter Sallis suffered from macular degeneration before he died

In the dry (nonexudative) form, cellular debris called drusen accumulates between the retina and the choroid, causing atrophy and scarring to the retina. In the wet (exudative) form, which is more severe, blood vessels grow up from the choroid behind the retina which can leak exudate and fluid and also cause haemorrhaging.

All blindness, sight impairment and macular degeneration has a cause.  Old age is one, but there are many others including parasites and heavy metals, as such these need to be investigated before any symptomatic treatment is used.  The link takes you to the section on sight related illness where the types of causes are discussed.

Symptomatic treatments include laser coagulation, but there are also drugs whose aim is to stop and sometimes reverses the growth of blood vessels.

In June 2016, eHealthme ceased to provide the information on which all the data in this section is based.  On querying my friends in the USA, it would seem that many of the sites that provided similar information, have done the same.  The links we provided to eHealthme also no longer work as this data too has been removed. 

As to why all these sites have removed exceptionally important information, my USA helpers said that more and more people are questioning what they are being given – and demanding to know WHY the CAUSE of their illness has not been investigated.  It appears that there has been a very heartening increase in the numbers of people who want to be healed – have the cause tackled and not the symptoms.  And this is ‘not popular’ with the conventional medical community, who cannot make money from well people.

The statistics collected from eHealthme remain valid for the date they were collected.  As such we have left this section as it is – an historical record.  Please read this section therefore only as an historical record of the figures that were applicable on the date specified.

The drugs

Roseanne Barr suffers from macular degeneration

There are two main drugs that appear to be the most used in treating age related macular degeneration.  Both are anti-angiogenics.

An angiogenesis inhibitor is a substance that inhibits the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).

Wikipedia

Angiogenesis inhibitors were once thought to have potential as a "silver bullet" treatment applicable to many types of cancer, but the limitations of anti-angiogenic therapy have been shown in practice. Despite this, inhibitors are still used to treat cancer, macular degeneration in the eye, and other diseases that involve a proliferation of blood vessels.

Both these drugs inhibit the growth of blood vessels, which is part of the body's normal healing and maintenance. The body grows new blood vessels in wound healing, and as collateral circulation around blocked or atherosclerotic blood vessels.

These drugs  interfere with these normal processes, and worsen conditions like coronary artery disease or peripheral artery disease.

The main side effects are hypertension and heightened risk of bleeding. Bowel perforation has been reported.   In advanced lung cancer, less than half of patients qualify for treatment.  Nasal septum perforation and renal thrombotic microangiopathy have been reported. In December 2010, the FDA warned of the risk of developing perforations in the body, including in the nose, stomach, and intestines.

In 2013, it was announced that one drug was associated with 52 cases of necrotizing fasciitis from 1997 to 2012, from which 17 patients died.

 

Side effects

Using the eHealthme site and the Adverse drug reports submitted by doctors to the FDA and SEDA and summarised on eHealthme, the following side effects related to spiritual experience are shown below.  The figures are only applicable to the US and not to the rest of the world as the ADRs are ony gathered for the USA:

Drug

No of hallucinations

Lucentis

16

Bavacizumab and Avastin

 48

 Lucentis more details

 On Aug, 14, 2015: 9,569 people reported to have side effects when taking Lucentis. Among them, 1,983 people (20.72%) have Death

Most common Lucentis side effects:

  • Death  (1,983 reports)
  • Visual Acuity Reduced  (1,290 reports)
  • Stroke  (718 reports)
  • Eye Haemorrhage  (415 reports)
  • Heart Attack  (368 reports)
  • Malaise (309 reports)
  • Visual Impairment (286 reports)
  • Fall  (283 reports)
  • Retinal Haemorrhage  (269 reports)
  • Drug Ineffective  (237 reports)

Avastin more details

 On Aug, 7, 2015: 23,971 people reported to have side effects when taking Avastin. Among them, 2,160 people (9.01%) have Death.

Most common Avastin side effects:

  • Death  (2,160 reports)
  • Diarrhea  (1,367 reports)
  • Disease Progression  (1,287 reports)
  • Nausea  (1,283 reports)
  • High Blood Pressure  (1,137 reports)
  • Nausea And Vomiting  (1,102 reports)
  • Fever  (915 reports)
  • Dehydration  (851 reports)
  • Breathing Difficulty  (849 reports)
  • Fatigue  (786 reports)

How it works

Where do the hallucinations come from?   Poisoning.

Related observations